In December, James Gunn tweeted a photo of the cast of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, or at least the only people he’ll admit are in it, with the image featuring most of the regular series cast, newcomer Will Poulter (he’ll be playing cosmic messiah Adam Warlock), and one surprise new addition: Chukwudi Iwuji, who is now appearing on Gunn’s Peacemaker series as Project Butterly boss Clemson Murn (a man who has never shared any feelings ever).
Nobody would spill the proverbial beans on who Iwuji was playing, which is fine, because sometimes it’s okay to be surprised by something that happens in a movie, but now—a month or so later—we’re sick of it. Iwuji recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about the latest Peacemaker twist, and while he still won’t say what he’s doing in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, his teases are curious enough that we’re ready to just throw out any semblance of patience and just have the damn movie spoiled already.
But, alas, Iwuji is too much of a pro to do that. So, in lieu of spoilers, let’s take a look at what he has said about the role. For starters, Iwuji says Gunn offered him the part on the day they were filming Peacemaker’s phenomenal opening credits sequence, with the director first calling him over to show him the last take of the intro’s dance number before casually dropping, “Oh, by the way, I want to talk to you about something.”
That “something” ended up being that Gunn wanted Iwuji to play this unnamed character in the third Guardians movie, but the way Iwuji describes this moment seems very telling. He says Gunn told him “I want you to be [this character]” and it was “one of the few genuine times” Iwuji was left speechless. He says they had to still go through Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and do a screen test, but Iwuji got the part.
He says the character is “extremely powerful” and “complex,” maybe even one of the most complex characters “in the freaking Marvel universe.” So who could that be? Well, let’s look at the evidence: It’s someone who is very powerful and presumably has enough name-recognition that Gunn could leave Iwuji speechless by saying “I want you to play this character.” That means we’re probably talking about an A-tier Marvel hero or villain, and not someone like Nova or Sentry who would only be cool to nerds. (Iwuji might be a nerd, we don’t know, but we can’t imagine too many Shakespearean actors are familiar with the saga of Richard Rider, operatic as it may be.)
So… Galactus? Disney and Marvel Studios now have the rights to Galactus now that they’ve bought Fox and control the Fantastic Four rights again, and Galactus is the kind of comic book character that even a regular person could conceivably know about. Iwuji’s comments also make it sound like this isn’t a one-off appearance, with him saying this is his “Marvel debut,” and a Guardians Of The Galaxy movie does seem like the appropriate place to introduce the MCU’s version of Galactus ahead of an eventual Fantastic Four movie.
It could also be Doctor Doom, since Marvel now has the rights to him as well, but that doesn’t seem as easy to pull off—though Doctor Doom did work with the Guardians recently in the comics when the Dread Dormammu (the bad guy from Doctor Strange!) possessed Ego The Living Planet (the bad guy from Guardians 2!). James Gunn doesn’t seem like someone who would just lift a comic book storyline, so that’s probably not it.
There is another option, but it’s a less fun one: He could be someone with a relationship to another character. Like, Gunn could say “I want you to be Groot’s dad” or “I want you to be Drax’s brother” and it might elicit a similar reaction. Of course, that’s not to say that Groot’s dad isn’t also Galactus, so this could still end up being a big deal. Either way, we’d like to know now, please.